BioSpace Movers & Shakers, Jan. 15

Movers and Shakers

Beam Therapeutics – Kate Walsh, president and chief executive officer of the Boston Medical Center (BMC) health system, joined the board of directors of Beam Therapeutics. Prior to BMC, Walsh served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham and Women's Hospital. She previously served as the chief operating officer for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in positions including senior vice president of medical services at the MGH Cancer Center. Prior to her tenure at MGH, she held positions in a number of New York City hospitals.

Valneva SE – Perry Celentana was named interim COO of France-based Valneva SE. Celentana will support the expansion of the manufacturing sites in Livingston and Solna. Celentana has an extensive track record in the pharma and vaccines industry including roles with Merck, Novartis and Dynavax. Additionally, Valneva announced Chief Financial Officer David Lawrence, who planned to retire at the end of 2020, was named acting CFO until mid-2021.

Merck KGaA-- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany announced the creation of its Digital Ethics Advisory Panel. The panel complements the existing Bioethics Advisory Panel of Merck KGaA, which provides guidance on bioethical questions arising from the company’s business and research. The panel will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the company develops new digital technologies responsibly and addresses potential ethical issues arising from the use of these technologies. Is first responsibility is to develop a Digital Code of Ethics that will serve as a governing framework and guide how the panel provides counsel.

Sterling Bay – Suzet McKinney joined the Chicago-based firm as Principal and Director of Sterling Bay’s Life Sciences Division. McKinney will oversee Sterling Bay’s relationships with the scientific, academic, corporate, tech and governmental sectors involved in the life science ecosystem, as well as manage the experience and facilitate the growth of life science tenants in Sterling Bay developments. Prior to joining Sterling Bay, McKinney was chief executive officer and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District (IMD) where she managed medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, four hospitals, and more than 40 healthcare-related facilities. Before her time at IMD, McKinney served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Chicago Department of Public Health where she oversaw the Department’s emergency preparedness efforts. She led Chicago’s 2014-2015 Ebola response; the operational response to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak; the Chicago Department of Public Health’s participation in the 2012 NATO response; and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake response.

Celyad Oncology – Marina Udier was appointed to the board of directors of Celyad Oncology SA. Udier currently serves as CEO of Nouscom, a private oncology company. She joined the company as COO in 2016 from Versant Ventures, where she was Operating Principal. Prior to Versant, she held various senior development and commercial roles at Novartis Pharma.

Amylyx Pharmaceuticals – James Frates was named CFO of Amylyx, effective Jan. 25. Frates joins Amylyx following his tenure as CFO at Alkermes from 1998 through 2020. Frates helped manage the company through numerous acquisitions and financings in the debt, equity and private markets.  Prior to Alkermes, Frates worked as an investment banker at Robertson, Stephens & Company and Morgan Stanley. Frates currently serves on the Board of Sage Therapeutics, Inc., The Roxbury Latin School and St. Francis House in Boston.

Axol Bioscience – Ross Wheatcroft was named Global Strategic Accounts Manager of U.K.-based Axol Biosciences. Wheatcroft will directly support customers while leading a growing global team of technical account managers. The first of those account managers, Mark Dahlquist, is already in place covering the US's Midwestern and Western regions. Ross is a life science sales leader with 18 years of experience in strategic account management, business development, and demonstrated excellence in leading cross-functional teams to develop commercial processes and best practices. The appointment of Ross directly follows Axol's onboarding of a Global Head of Product Management, Kimberly LaPointe, who has equally significant experience and tenure in the life sciences industry.

Moon Surgical – Formerly known as MastOR, Moon Surgical named Jeffry Alvarez as COO, David Noon as chief technology officer and Nicolas Linard as head of software. All three are experts in surgical robotics and computer vision, and were instrumental in the development, launch, and acquisition of highly successful companies in the medical device field. Alvarez was the first employee at medtech unicorn Auris Health, where he led the development and first clinical use of two surgical robotic platforms. Noonan, an accomplished engineering leader, directed the systems, algorithms and robotics efforts at Auris for over five years. Nicolas Linard is a creative software architect with extensive experience in medical devices, robotics, and computer vision.

ZIOPHARM Oncology– James Huang was named chairman of the board of directors at Boston-based Ziopharm. Huang has served on the Board since July 2020 and is currently a Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) China. He has founded and financed several innovative life sciences companies, including GenScript, Legend Biotech and Zai Lab. He is also Founding Partner of Panacea Venture, which formed TriArm Therapeutics, the funding partner for Ziopharm’s joint venture, Eden BioCell. The company also announced today the election of Heidi Hagen to the position of Lead Independent Director, effective immediately. Hagen, co-founder of software platform company Vineti, has served on the board since June 2019.

Eli Lilly – Gabrielle Sulzberger was elected to the Eli Lilly Board of Directors effective Jan. 25. She will serve on both the Audit Committee and the Ethics and Compliance Committee. Sulzberger is a strategic advisor to Two Sigma Impact, a private equity firm that combines active, principled ownership and data science, with the goal of achieving superior returns and positive social outcomes. Prior to Two Sigma Impact, Sulzberger was a general partner of private equity fund Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners L.P.

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